Jony Ive explains Apple Watch design, and calls out others for "theft" of Apple work

Jony Ive explains Apple Watch design, and calls out others for
Jony Ive has long been known as the face of the design team at Apple. He is often found starring in videos talking about the "magic" of Apple products, but recently he talked with the director of London's Design Museum, and Dezeen transcribed some very interesting comments. Ive explained some of the choices behind the Apple Watch design, and also talked about his feelings in regards to others "copying" Apple's work. Unfortunately, Ive's comments lead to some odd questions. 

In talking about the Apple Watch, Ive was asked why Apple had chosen to create a customizable interface, which is somewhat opposed to Apple's usual one-size-fits-all philosophy of software design. Ive said that the ultimate goal was to create a "flexible system" that follows a "singular idea", and expanded on the answer by saying:


So, Apple realized that not everyone wanted to be wearing the same watch. Everyone wanted to customize their devices and personalize their experience. We're not quite sure how this same scenario never arose during the design meetings for iOS, but no one asked that follow-up to Ive. It is a good answer to the question, but not exactly in keeping with Apple's usual tendencies. 

Ive also talked about the design process, and why he doesn't appreciate when others "copy" Apple products. The basic reasoning once again makes sense, although the overall reasoning also seems a bit blind to the "inspiration" Apple has taken from the competition over the years. Ive said:


It's not hard to see these comments being specifically aimed at someone like Xiaomi; but again, we would have liked to see a follow-up regarding the similarities between iOS features and the competition. Of course, as we've said before, all of the cries from all sides about "stealing" and "copying" are overblown at best, and completely absurd at worst. Everyone is going to pick up features from everyone else, and all platforms get better for it. At the end of the day, the general feel of a platform and the services provided mean more than features. If you're into the Google ecosystem, you're more likely to go with Android, regardless of if you feel Control Center works better than Android's Quick Settings, or Live Tiles are better than widgets. Similarly, if you have invested a lot in iTunes, Android or WP features aren't likely to sway you. No one should be deprived of good features because they prefer a certain platform. 

source: Dezeen via The Verge

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126 Comments

1. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

"...things we have been working on for eight years are copied in six months..." Does anyone know what in the world he's talking about? What took Apple EIGHT YEARS to design?

8. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Took them 8 years to jump to 5.5 inch screen and claimed they innovate it. Typical apple B. S.

51. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

In 8 years they learned how to design a phone which can bend hence iPhone 6+ Kudos to Jony.

60. slh163

Posts: 140; Member since: May 19, 2014

actually even that didn't take "8 years" because from the first iphone in 2007 to the last one in 2014, this is just 7 years. so i'm still curious to know what the hell took theme 8 years to design? or are there lies and propaganda are present even in the interviews!!

62. slh163

Posts: 140; Member since: May 19, 2014

are their*

127. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Jony I., don't talk as if you're God. Give credits some time.

12. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Believe it or not, the original iPhone and iPad was in development for nearly that long. The ipad was first, then they shelved it to consentrate on the iPhone. Apple had the name iphone back in like 2000. This is why I laugh at the whole LG Prada crap.

21. engineer-1701d unregistered

lol nctx i seen the same video you seen with jobs saying that its bull, iphone name was not apples first do your home work, they only thing apple does is buy company's and incorporate there tech and call it there's and take what they dont or cant have. ios and iphone trademarked my cisco years before apple and jobs like the ipad and iphone in brazil did not check to see if the name was available or like the ipad air 2 thinnest in the world lie speaking before checking.

36. AlikMalix unregistered

what nctx said is true, the ipad was to be the first product, but they shelved it and started working on an iPhone, just because Prada came out first (and rushed it) is the reason LG isnt the biggest company today but Apple is - they took their sweet time to make it perfect - keep in mind there was NOTHING to build off while under development - apple had no other phone like this on the market to build - and even though idea was around - no one knew how it should look, feel, respond and etc. The look and feel and response to swipe, touch, pinch - the speed and movement is all important how the product was put together - Prada - they didnt even think about the fact that a touch screen does not need you to swipe sidebars - you can just swipe the page itself up and down - those are the details that made an iPhone where it is now, and Prada a forgotten relic... Now every touchscreen is building on that "feel" and that detail is being copied - some of which apple was able to sue for and win like bounce back, several natural gestures (hence iOS does not have back buttons - it's a swipe gesture to go back and forth unlike android that does employ two extra buttons to go back and reveal context menu, some how apple got it right) And you can disagree with all this all you want, but these details is what is missing from most Android phones, and some are incorporated differently (some may be better) the overall UI on iOS is second nature to human interaction with physical device (makes no sense to you huh?) Bottom line, I believe that that's what sells tens of millions of iDevices within days and demand just seems to double/tripple every year. On top of all that there are features that are just not present on Android or are later "copied" like the recent "Continuity/Handoff" feature that Google is going to introduce to Android. Development of App Store was followed by Android Market almost a year later, and Siri was followed by Google Now, Touch ID by Samsung, 64bit - well still trying. What about Remote Lock thats now becoming not just a standard but a law - all started with Activation Lock that Apple introduced to iPhone. Soon to come, reversable mini USB, Find my friends, Healthkit, Homekit, Facetime, and you may argue that apps exist, but having every device on iOS have these things makes it easy to take advantage of all these features than "hey, man, can you download whatsapp so we can videochat"... Oooh, maybe they'll let you control app permissions soon (including native ones).. There's more, but here's my point: I will not deny that Apple doesnt copy ideas - iOS 8 has a lot of android features (maybe implemented differently) but it also added more features that Android did not have and even more that's behind the scenes kinda thing like Metal, Switft, Handsoff, iCloud Photo Library (love that one) and keeps going... There's more to "copying" than the visual UI that we as consumers see -- a lot of copying is in the coding...

53. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Can't you simply accept the fact that everyone copies everyone?? And Android is has much more features than iOS? I love 3 with their unique experience. By far Android is the closest to the PC with alot of features. And all these Apples idea is not original. They buy innovative companies because they have lots of cash. Some of apple's features are great and some are not. And Siri is not Apple's invention. Anyway it is now beaten by even the new comer Cortana(check out news here on pa). And Symbian had video call long before than iPhone or their facetime. Many stuffs you listed is doesn't sounds as copying. Many copy Apple (like xiaomi) because Apple is the most popular(no denying in that). And I agree and give lots of credits to Apple for their first iPhone which was Absolutely innovative. But the rate of invention is now decreased if you ask me. And many latest iOS 8 iPhones features are inspired(don't think "copy"is the word that suits for the current market situation) from Android like widgets and notification centre. And iOS 7 going flat was absolutely inspired from WP. The whole flat trend is started by WP(give credits there.). Every company steal from each others.

55. AlikMalix unregistered

Yeah i was trying to outline that everyone is "inspired" by ideas of their competitors. So yeah I agree with your post.

81. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I agree with many points you have, but I few I have to bring up. Apple took their time to "perfect" the iPhone where LG didn't with their offering? The phone that launched without cut, paste, or the ability to do MMS. I had a flip phone at the time that could do that. After Apple had the Appstore, Android had the Android Market. So what would you have proposed Android do in terms of apps. That, out of ANYTHING, is something that would be a natural progression. Otherwise it's no different than saying that every store ever is copying the very first store and that's a bad thing.

90. willard12 unregistered

1. LG Prada was introduced 9 months before its official announcement. 2. Nuance was an app before Siri 3. Several OS already had app stores 4. Motorola Matrix had fingerprint scanner 5. Cult followings sell 10s of millions of devices in an opening weekend. I'm sure Apple implements all these things better like iOS 8.0.1 and Maps, but the issue isn't who is inspired by whom, but who constantly sues everyone over copying. As Michael points out, Apple execs never have to answer questions like," where did you get the idea for implementing notifications, command centers, NFC payments, 4G, MMS, widgets, changeable wallpapers, large screens...and they can go on and on saying they are the world's innovator and you can't name 1 (one) Apple invention.

94. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Just a couple of things. On point #2 IIRC on the Galaxy S2, Nuance's Vlingo app had integration into it's Touchwiz skin on that model. On point #4, I believe you meant the Motorola Atrix, not Matrix.

102. engineer-1701d unregistered

alik my friend you are so far in tim cooks ball sack you cant see the truth, step back you must be young in your twenties half the things you said are true and half incorrect also if you would like to see the iwatch from 15 years ago just look at the movado zenith vintage, apple sat back and watch and learned from every tech company in the world on what to do and not to do,healthkit as apple called it that already is a company that they are getting sued because of the name, again they dont check things,samsung and many others had healthkits on the phones, videochat came out years before facetime, your handoff continuity has been in the windows/android chrome eco for over a year now. apple bought the company that had been making fingerprint scanners for decades 2 years after motorola atrix had put it in the atrix phone but the atrix had a limited release just like moto always does like the turbo, your ios and iphone name where stolen trademarked names from cisco systems that jobs took without paying for like always cough cough ibm, mouse. i could keep going on but your so into jobs and cooks ass you have become a mole on his ass

118. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You sound just like an Apple keynote and Ive. In other words, stupid.

109. JayQ330

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

Nice info, you know if that video is in YouTube? I wanna watch it.... Besides that when are they going to stop that BS, I mean ... In guessing he's not talking about the flat design, widgets, notification bars, slide to unlock & everything else on the iPhone. Maybe the only original thing on the iPhone IMO are the ui, & the iphone name. Other than that I can Post inevitable evidence with the years of releases compared to apples & see that they ripped off so many ideas. It's a cluster of stolen ideas. It's really pathetic on apples part down to the iOS xerox ui & mouse theft. It's all an evolution of gadgets, but their insecurity leads them to say some really childish sh*t. *he's copying me!*LoL.

56. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

"We're not quite sure how this same scenario never arose during the design meetings for iOS, but no one asked that follow-up to Ive." Because frankly, that's stupid. Any rational person can understand why smartwatches cannot follow the same vertical design interface that a smartphone can embrace. Apple took a different user interface with the iPod, iPhone and now iWatch (f**k Apple watch) so it makes perfect sense that they took a more customizable approach with a device that embraces a new UI. A watch is worn and it's something that will stay visible on your wrist, with that in the way no one would want to have the same watch as the next guy because as with everything that's worn, people have different tastes. Some of these arguments that Android users bring up are as myopic as choosing a camera over megapixel count.

95. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The only part that most people see when it's visible on the wrist is the watchface, not the interface itself. Many smarwatches offer custom faces for differentiation, it's nothing new. Another thing to consider, is that if having a different watch from everyone else is such a big deal, what did the watch industry do before smarwatches with customizable faces came along? You could always use a different band, or get the watch in a different color if it was offered, but that's about it. With almost any smartwatch offered today, you have almost infinite choices in how your watch looks. Band style and case color are just the starting point. With customizable faces, you can have a classic style, a digital, a face mimicking a sun dial, whatever. And these were available for smarwatches before the iwatch was announced. This isn't breaking new ground here.

103. engineer-1701d unregistered

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s202/abcoro/Zenith/DSC04012k.jpg This is the design for the apple watch its a diffrent face but the metal sides thick and crown all the same and this is from 1998. apple copies again get over yourself apple

70. Topcat488

Posts: 1416; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

They COPIED LG Prada, and played stupid while asking permission.

24. engineer-1701d unregistered

i love the part about they stole time from us being at home with our family, am like what, you mean if you did not work on that job you would be at home not working at all.

67. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1271; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

He is sm0king something of very bad quality...

124. paulislegend

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Jony Ive Is so far gone and out of touch with reality that he believes his own hype. Every one copied something from someone. If It wasn't for Xerox none of these tech companies would be where they are. As for Jony Ive, he doesn't have an original though in his head, he has copied everything from Dieter Rams:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieter_Rams

125. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Jony Ive...took you eight years to steal Sony designs and incorporate some more you ripped off from Braun and turn them into a phone...carry on...

2. Connie B

Posts: 31; Member since: Nov 13, 2009

Apple does a lot of great things and I think Ive is a very good designer. But before they accuse everybody else of copying them they must also give credit to the LG Prada phone, which inspired the iPhone design.

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also iOS 7 was inspired by Metro, WebOS, Android and Windows 7 as well

37. AlikMalix unregistered

Is that why lollipop is introducing pastel colors, flat icons, and white background and animated transitions and transperent menus look the frosted glass on ios7?

42. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, everyone takes inspiration from somewhere Though I'd argue the flat icon are from Metro (iOS 7 icons aren't flat) And the transparent menus/frosted glass are from Windows 7 (Aero theme) IMO the animated transitions are very different to iOS 7's, WP's & Holo's animated transitions

54. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Pastel colors is iOS copy?? Really? iOS is kinda producing neon light colors. And flat icon? yeah they inspires it from wp. And white background it was there on google now, cant you see google moving on the direction of google now UI by using cards papers etc??? If lollipop ui is inspired from anyone it'll be WP. Not iOS, never iOS. You simply can't accept the fact iOS following WP's flat trend can you?

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